Rick Snyder, Tea Party — June 11, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Tea Party activists turn against Michigan Gov. Snyder for supporting Medicaid expansion


An open letter urges conservatives to “sit out” Governor Rick Snyder’s re-election campaign.

That’s how much the Michigan Tea Party hates Obamacare. They’d sabotage the Republican Governor’s chances of winning re-election to prove a point.

They published an open letter today railing against Gov. Snyder’s continued efforts to convince the Michigan legislature to accept Medicaid expansion. Never mind the fact that Medicaid expansion would bring more than $1 billion in federal funding into the state to provide healthcare coverage to as many as 730,000 uninsured citizens, along with 18,000 jobs and $2 billion in economic activity by 2016. You can read details of the benefits here.

But don’t confuse the Tea Party with facts. All they care about is how much they hate President Obama. So much that they’re willing to watch Michigan suffer out of pure spite.

You’ll want to read the letter yourself, but this excerpt gives you the idea:

There comes a time when a political line in the sand must be drawn to preserve institutions. It is our estimation that Governor Snyder has gone too far by seeking help from one of the most polarizing figures in modern history, a representative of the most destructive American President of our history as a nation, to try to strong arm moderate voices in his own party into passing a bankrupt Michigan on to our children. The representatives of the people of Michigan have been listening to us. We have worked with them, helping them understand our concerns as taxpayers in this state, of radically altering a broken Medicaid system to accept half a million more uninsured, reportedly at no cost to our state, and very little in the future. We do not believe any government program could ever follow through on such a promise, and are appalled that the voice of the people means so little to the Governor of this State.

Does the Tea Party actually think they are the sole voice of the Michigan people? Um, no. Not by a long shot. The voice of the people encompasses moderate Republicans and Democrats, progressives, independents and voters who identify with other groups or don’t categorize themselves politically at all.

Every citizen of Michigan, of every viewpoint, has a voice. Whether or not we voted for the legislators who represent us, it is still their job to represent our best interests, without regard to party or personal gain. It’s their sworn duty to do what’s in the best interests of their constituents and the state of Michigan. At least, it’s supposed to be.

The Tea Party accused Gov. Snyder of attempting to “strong-arm” the legislature into accepting Medicaid expansion. What exactly do they call threatening not to support his re-election? A polite request? Just because they might throw a bigger temper tantrum doesn’t mean their voices or votes should carry any extra weight. This may come as a surprise to the Tea Party, but they don’t run the state of Michigan.

MLive.com covered the story and spoke directly with Gov. Snyder spokesperson Sara Wurfel, who said Gov. Snyder believes Medicaid expansion is the “financially responsible thing to do for the state and the right thing to do for Michigan residents.” Here’s what Wurful told MLive:

What’s being proposed is a unique Michigan centric plan that protects our state’s taxpayers and small businesses while ensuring coverage for our vulnerable citizens. As I think he’s demonstrated pretty clearly and consistently for the last 2 and 1/2 years in office, he doesn’t shy away from tackling tough issues and focuses on solving problems, not politics or polls. Period.

Let the Tea Party say what they want — and they will. But there are plenty of other voices in Michigan. It’s up to the rest of us to keep making sure they’re heard. Those of us who support Medicaid expansion will be casting our votes in future elections, too. Remember to respectfully remind your legislators of that when you contact them.

[Photo by Chris Savage | Eclectablog]